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Author Topic: Good stuff on ebay  (Read 119534 times)

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Offline andybeals

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2016, 07:37:53 AM »
A prototype Pan American?  That's the story.  No maker's mark, no serial.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/152188453666
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2016, 09:41:39 AM »
A prototype Pan American?  That's the story.  No maker's mark, no serial.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/152188453666

Wow, that must be completely unique!
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Offline andybeals

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2016, 11:22:09 AM »
An ad from Popular Mechanics, October 1952.

These seem to be coming down in price on "the bay".  Does anyone know what kind of wood it really is?  Is it straight-up plywood or billets of something easier to get / less expensive than grenadilla?  The googles suggest various theories.  "Guaranteed not to crack!"

From the set of magazines that El GOOG has, the ads run from '50 to '54.  The one with the flute and the clarinet is the last one, from 2/54. 
« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 11:33:17 AM by andybeals »
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2016, 05:16:46 PM »
It's not the same as construction plywood, but it is a laminated wood. It is most likely at least two different American hardwoods, perhaps maple and walnut? I am just guessing, but it probably was less expensive than either grenadilla or hard rubber. I have only seen it in photos.

Most of the Pan American clarinets that are black look like hard rubber, not plastic. In that hard rubber was generally available, it would seem that Conn either thought a "wood" product would sell better or would sound better or both. Rubber was temporarily in short supply during the wars because tires were still made of natural rubber and it was needed for military vehicles. The laminate might have been developed as an answer to a temporary rubber shortage? The other advantage might have been durability as well as maintaining the strength of longitudinal wood grain. Conn was an innovator concerning materials. I think they were just trying something new.

These days, the laminated wood is a rare visual novelty. It still has the Pan American key work, which is OK, but certainly not the same as the key work on a Conn 424N or 444N. Why someone would pay twice to three times the cost of a 424N or 444N just to have the "look" is beyond me. I think the people paying the higher prices must be collectors who are not players. The reports from various players who have tried these is that there is nothing spectacular about the way these play or sound.
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Offline rezzie

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2016, 05:59:39 PM »
The reports from various players who have tried these is that there is nothing spectacular about the way these play or sound.
These were made of laminated cocobolo plywood cut into billets for clarinets.  The wood looks like the laminated wood for WW2 propellers, hence the propeller-wood Conn name for these.

There is nothing at all spectacular about these clarinets except that they are really, really pretty when you clean them up right.  Note how beautifully this wood 'grain' transitions from the body to the bell and barrel.  This is one padded out in lovely white roo pads and tweaked as much as I can and it's still bog average at best as a player.  Sure does look good.






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Offline Windsong

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2016, 07:59:49 PM »
I can barely even tell what's going on with the keys on this one.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Albert-System-Clarinet-Unidentified-READ-DESCRIPTION-/391532703454?hash=item5b292aeede:g:h0AAAOSwV0RXsMcl

Dave,
That's the most sophisticated Albert I have ever seen.  I'd very much like to know who made it.
It's certainly old, but not too old (1920-1940s?), and I'll hazard a guess that it's a B&H.  They were one of the few Western manufacturers still making Alberts after it was no longer "cool", and the joints flare out like all B&Hs.  I know there were other manufacturers who flared their joints, but none so pronounced as Boosey.
As for the lack of the barrel and bell, I'm sure Backun could have this "little dandy" outfitted with one phone call.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2016, 08:58:24 PM by Windsong »
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2016, 10:09:51 PM »
Looks Oehler or German system. It has one more ring than my J. Mollenhauer in the LJ, UJ is the same key work. This is probably a German maker but the thumb rest is atypical of early 20th century German clarinets. Most of the German clarinets have the "coat hook" type thumb rest. Nice pair of joints, indeed. Matching a barrel might be interesting. These take short barrels, about 57mm usually. And to make it really correct it should also get a German MP and German cut reeds. Lack of short proper barrel has the Mollenhauer currently sidelined. I think we can look for the bids on that pair to finish a good bit higher than the current bid.
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Offline andybeals

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2016, 02:56:54 PM »
Laminated tropical hardwoods is going to take careful gluing, which I've been taught requires a pre-cleaning with a solvent to get the oils out of the surface and especially the pores.  If they skipped that step, or clamped the billets too tightly, they were going to have some de-lamination problems.  The good news is (a) de-lams should be fairly easy to fix, especially with modern glues and (b) they will be reasonably water-tolerant. 

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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2016, 03:50:30 PM »
What is the information source that the Conn violin finished clarinets are cocobolo?  ???
I am forever skeptical;- please forgive me.
I don't want to start paying for these just to check out the wood species content.

Anyone like to see my collection of Alexandre Selmer, I mean Alexandre Paris clarinets made in Germany?
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Offline Windsong

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2016, 07:44:32 PM »
I know it's only a matter of time before one of us insults another member's listing, and that will never be my intent, but I just have to know what makes this seller think this horn is worth any place close to what he's asking?
The USN brand alone?  Don't get me wrong;  these were some of the best clarinets in the world at the time, preferred over just about anything else, but I still can't wrap my head around the asking price.  Have a look:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/122059615807?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2016, 07:53:08 PM »
Especially at that condition...
Maybe he does what i do, set price high and accept any reasonable offer. But still thats a bit much...
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Offline andybeals

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2016, 06:59:14 AM »
I can't see past the filth.

That clarinet was not stored well.  Weird, as Turlock is in the Central Valley, which would be a semi-arid desert save for the Central Valley [water] Project https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Valley_Project
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Offline Windsong

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2016, 08:34:43 AM »
Yes, absolutely filthy.  Just look at those neglected keys.  Did you also catch that the serials don't match, either?  To further add insult to injury, it has a Noblet barrel.  If this guy can sell his horn for his asking price, I'm going to attempt to sell my 1959 McIntyre for $3,000.000.00...and retire.
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2016, 11:11:58 AM »
There's always a seller that thinks a military designation is a free pass to a high price. I've seen this more often with trumpets and cornets;- and there are collectors that buy military instruments only, but generally due to specific known history of the instrument, not plausible rumors.

I have a good number of them myself, but I bid on these like I bid on any other instrument of the same make and model. History is only valuable to museums and historians. And that makes it valuable to me, but I don't think of history as something to be owned or sold at a profit. You find the history, then everyone has it regardless of who owns the artifact or becomes the temporary caretaker.

For instance I looked at the history of my USQMC (1922 and later) clarinet and bassoon, both by Bettoney and these plausibly were played at some very significant performances. These included presidential inaugurations, foreign diplomatic ceremonies, the dedication of the tomb of the unknown soldier, etc. These instruments were played when Sousa was conducting the Army band. When it comes to later designations, mostly US and USN, the history of a specific instrument is more difficult to trace and depends mostly on the owner's records or other inscriptions on the instrument.

If it was a USN instrument in use on air craft carriers, expect the springs and rods to be a corroded nightmare. I have one such USN clarinet that belonged to an officer and gentleman apparently named "Andrews" as this is stenciled on the case. I call it the Harry & Harry USN model. It has Bettoney joints with Pedler barrel and bell;- all with military markings. Practically every key rod was sawn through and many had been drilled out. These were replaced with rods that are too narrow to fit well and the keys wobble all over the place. The clarinet plays absolutely perfectly from top to bottom. For something with more hack repairs than I've seen on any dozen other clarinets, it's a beauty.  :) Well, in the eyes of this beholder, it is.

But the price was right;- $10 plus shipping, which was also quite low. Some of the sellers understand the kind of work it would take to put something right and just hope a good restoration tech will at least use the parts. I can fix this one, but what's the point? It's already a player and has some interesting history just like it is. I oiled the bore. It was dry as desert.

The PM Artist in question is particularly interesting regarding the price. True, it is two different serials, but fairly close together;- I'm not sure what effect the Noblet barrel would have, but it's not going to be as close a match as the Harry & Harry parts are. Those even look the same! A Noblet barrel marked US? That is curious. Perhaps this instrument was still in military use after Penzel Mueller was out of business and the Army bought some barrels from Noblet? That's an odd ball.

That said, the number of Penzel Mueller new listings has recently fallen drastically. There are very few showing up compared to a year ago. There is not an infinite supply of these and sooner or later the supply of PM clarinets will fall below demand. That could be temporary depending on the whims of collectors and players, but these are not like Conn or Pedler or H&A Selmer or even Bettoney as far as production numbers. PM just did not build nearly as many instruments. That seller is wise to start high and run long right now. They might get a $200 - $300 offer eventually or even higher. That is one of the silver plated key models also, but nothing else too special. What is on the keys is mostly the silver sulfide tarnish and that can be reversed pretty easily without removing any silver. It looks like the keys on my favorite 7-ring Pedler, which I did not polish or attempt to return to shiny silver. IMO these PM clarinets are as good as many clarinets with better reputations, and reputations are subject to amendments over time.
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum